Missouri regulators question proposed KCP&L, Westar merger

The proposed $12.2 billion merger of Kansas-based Westar Energy with Missouri-based Kansas City Power & Light could be at the mercy of Missouri utility regulators whose staff has recommended the deal be rejected.

Great Plains Energy, parent company of KCP&L, says it doesn’t need Missouri’s permission for the purchase, which would combine operations to serve 1.5 million customers on both sides of the state line.

The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/2aN3jWW) reports that the Missouri Public Service Commission’s staff is concerned that the merger would lead to layoffs and harm Great Plains’ credit rating, leading to higher costs for customers.

James Owen, acting director of Missouri’s Office of Public Counsel, believes the commission staff will file a challenge against the deal. If not, his office will.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com.